For The Rest Of Our Life – Chapter 158.1

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For nearly two days, Lin Xian had hardly eaten anything, her lips pale and cracked, her appearance haggard and exhausted, devoid of the youthful vigor she once possessed.

After Xiao Wanqing left the hospital, Lin Zhan followed Zhou Qin’s instructions to pick up Lin Xian from her mother-in-law’s house and bring her back to their own home. As he looked at Lin Xian, who was still unwavering and filled with anticipation, a mixture of emotions churned inside him.

In a low and calming voice, he told Lin Xian, who was anxiously waiting for his next words, “Xiaowan and your mother have come to an agreement. Let’s go home.”

Lin Xian slightly parted her lips, staring at Lin Zhan in disbelief. For a moment, she felt ecstatic, wondering if her perseverance had made Zhou Qin compromise, or if Xiao Panpan had used reason and emotion to calm her mother down. But thinking back to Zhou Qin’s stubbornness yesterday, her joy quickly faded.

She stood up in a fluster, grabbing Lin Zhan’s sleeve, and anxiously repeated her questions, “Dad, what did they agree on? What did mom say to her? Where is Auntie Xiao? How is she?” Her voice was hoarse and weak, barely recognizable.

Lin Zhan avoided meeting Lin Xian’s deep black eyes, choosing not to confront her gaze. He changed the subject and reassured her, “They have reached an agreement. Let Xiaowan explain the details to you. Xianxian, let’s go home first and freshen up. Xiaowan said she will come later to take you to her place.”

Lin Xian stood motionless, trying to process the implications of Lin Zhan’s words, feeling like she was in a dream.

Xiao Panpan was allowed to come pick her up. She could go back. Did this mean they were finally free, or at least they could put an end to this embarrassing and humiliating ordeal with no other choice, gaining some time to breathe, and a chance to have a rational conversation with Zhou Qin once again.

Suddenly, as if losing all the strength that had been holding her together, she released Lin Zhan’s sleeve, slowly crouched down, wrapped her arms around her knees, burying her face in them, her shoulders trembling slightly. She seemed like a child who had been bullied and left alone, letting out all the fear, grievance, and sadness of the past two days, crying softly, each sob feeling like sharp needles piercing into Lin Zhan’s heart.

Lin Zhan stood stiffly in front of his daughter, gritting his teeth, his eyes moist. In these past two days, he had seen Lin Xian cry, but every time she faced him, her spirit was so firm and unwavering, fearless, like a brave warrior fighting for love. He almost forgot that Lin Xian was still young, how fragile, fearful, and helpless she must be facing such a crisis.

He crouched down, reaching out to pat Lin Xian’s back, but she suddenly lifted her head, slowly stood up, and wiped away her tears. Standing tall, she gazed into the empty space ahead. The fragile and broken child from a moment ago seemed like a figment of Lin Zhan’s imagination, and before him stood the courageous warrior, resolute in her decision regarding this uncertain love.

A gentle smile graced the corner of the girl’s lips, her voice soft and hoarse as she said, “Let’s go, Dad. Let’s go back. I don’t want her to wait any longer.”

Lin Zhan looked up at her, his heart filled with aching tenderness. He opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but in the end, he sensibly pressed his lips together, silently becoming an accomplice to the cruelty of their relationship.

Around seven in the evening, Lin Xian had just finished showering, blow-drying her hair, and grooming herself when the doorbell rang.

Seated heavily in the living room, Lin Zhan heard the doorbell and started to get up to answer it, but before he could move, Lin Xian, even quicker, came out excitedly from the bathroom and ran towards the door.

Her hand rested on the doorknob, the door not yet opened, the woman she had been yearning for day and night standing outside. Her nose tingled with the onset of tears. She forcefully suppressed her emotions, not wanting to face Xiao Wanqing with such a vulnerable and distressed expression, not wanting Xiao Wanqing to worry or feel heartache.

She managed a faint, gentle smile, her gaze soft, slowly unlocking the security door and peering outside.

The gentle and graceful face engraved deeply in her heart slowly came into Lin Xian’s view.

Xiao Wanqing had meticulously groomed herself, standing upright with poise, her eyes fixed straight ahead. As the door opened, her gaze shifted and met the moist, bright eyes of Lin Xian. In an instant, a light smile appeared at the corner of her lips, and a gentle warmth shimmered in her eyes like water.

A glance that felt like eternity.

Lin Xian’s throat felt tight, unable to restrain herself any longer. She forcefully pushed the door open, took a step forward, and with open arms embraced Xiao Wanqing tightly, as if holding onto a precious treasure that was lost and now found.

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Though she had intended to smile and not cry, to prevent Xiao Panpan from worrying, tears defiantly spilled from her eyes and nestled into Xiao Wanqing’s neck.

Xiao Wanqing hugged the warm and slender body in her arms tightly, wanting to completely envelop the girl but also fearing she might hurt her. With a hint of restraint, she gradually relaxed her arms.

She affectionately nuzzled the girl’s soft hair with her cheek, a fleeting despair and sorrow passing through her misty eyes.

Her usually gentle voice sounded husky and raspy at this moment but remained as soft and soothing as a gentle spring breeze brushing past willow branches. She whispered by Lin Xian’s ear, “Xianxian, I’ve come to pick you up.”

Lin Xian lifted her head, tears still glistening on her eyelashes, and revealed a radiant smile. Pressing her forehead against Xiao Panpan’s, she tenderly said, “I’m going home with you.” Xiao Panpan had promised her, and now she had come to take her back home.

Xiao Wanqing looked at the girl’s smiling face, biting her lip, feeling a sharp pain that almost made her cry out.

She struggled to clear her throat, holding back her tears, then turned her eyes to Lin Zhan, who had been watching them. Xiao Wanqing greeted him, “Brother Lin Zhan, I’ll take Xianxian back first.”

Lin Zhan’s expression turned serious as he furrowed his brow, remaining silent for a few seconds before nodding wordlessly.

Lin Xian turned around, softly bidding her father farewell, “Dad, I’m leaving.” Then, as if escaping a disaster, afraid of any more unexpected events, she took a step forward, quickly closed the door, effectively creating two separate worlds between them and the Lin family.

Xiao Wanqing lifted her hand to touch the noticeably thinner cheek of Lin Xian, about to speak when the girl suddenly took her hand and led her into the stairwell.

Lin Xian swiftly closed the door to the stairwell behind them, using her back to block it. Without hesitation, she reached out, encircling Xiao Wanqing’s waist and gently pulling her into an embrace. Eagerly seeking the soft red lips of her beloved, she pressed a passionate, lingering kiss.

It seemed that only by truly feeling the warmth of the other party could she dispel the fear and anxiety that had plagued her in recent days.

Xiao Wanqing fell into Lin Xian’s embrace, careful not to hurt her, bracing one hand against the door and wrapping the other around Lin Xian’s neck. She gazed at the girl’s trembling long eyelashes with tender affection, forgetting the circumstances, softly parting her lips, wordlessly indulging Lin Xian.

As their lips intertwined in a sweetly intimate kiss, Xiao Wanqing tasted a bitter sweetness deep in her heart.

The girl’s passionate kiss gradually subsided. She tilted her head slightly, gently transitioning the soft kiss from the lips to Xiao Wanqing’s injured cheek, showing a tender and compassionate gesture. Xiao Wanqing opened her hazy eyes and saw the girl before her, tears in her eyes, kissing her with devotion and utmost care, as if afraid of causing her pain.

“What can I do to make you stop hurting…” Lin Xian murmured bitterly.

Xiao Wanqing was deeply moved.

To receive such a tender and profound love from Lin Xian without reservation was a blessing in her lifetime. She accepted all the hardships willingly, without any regrets.

She lifted her hand to cover Lin Xian’s, then turned her head to kiss Lin Xian’s palm gently, comforting her, “I’m not hurting anymore. Xianxian, you’ve lost so much weight.”

Lin Xian let go of her hand and interlocked their fingers, expressing concern, “You’ve lost weight too. Have you eaten?”

Xiao Wanqing shook her head, “No, there’s food prepared at home. Let’s eat together when you go back.” She gently shook Lin Xian’s hand, worried that Lin Xian would dwell on the wound on her face, so she raised her eyebrows and changed the subject, urging her, “Let’s go.”

Lin Xian nodded in agreement.

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As they walked towards the elevator, Lin Xian keenly noticed that Xiao Wanqing’s gait seemed off. Furrowing her eyebrows slightly, she stopped Xiao Wanqing’s steps and asked with concern, “What’s wrong with your foot?”

Knowing she couldn’t keep it from Lin Xian, Xiao Wanqing confessed, “I’m sorry, Xianxian. I accidentally broke the crystal ball you gave me. While cleaning up, I didn’t pay attention and stepped on the glass, cutting the sole of my foot.”

Upon hearing about the broken crystal ball, Lin Xian’s breath slightly hitched. But upon learning about Xiao Wanqing’s cut foot, all other thoughts faded, leaving only deep concern, “Is it serious? You idiot, why were you so careless? How can you still wear shoes like this? Let me see.” She crouched down, reaching to take off Xiao Wanqing’s shoe.

Feeling embarrassed, Xiao Wanqing stepped back, reminding Lin Xian, “I’m fine, don’t worry. Xianxian, it’s not convenient here. Can I show you when we get back?”

Wanting to say more, Lin Xian saw Xiao Wanqing’s resolute expression and slowly lowered her hands in disappointment. The pent-up sadness suddenly rushed over her, bowing her head, choked with self-blame, “It’s all my fault.”

Blaming herself for not being able to protect her, for not convincing her own parents, for not growing up overnight, for not having the capability, blaming herself, all on her…

“Xianxian…” Xiao Wanqing called out to her helplessly.

Lin Xian restrained the guilt that almost engulfed her, turning her back to Xiao Wanqing and softly said, “I’ll carry you.”

Xiao Wanqing’s heart melted, her eyes filled with tenderness. She moved closer, laying on Lin Xian’s back, pressing her cheek against her thin but warm spine, and whispered, “How can I bear to let you do this for such a long way.” She ambiguously added, “Xianxian, this road is too long. We are both girls, you can’t carry me, and I can’t carry you. We support each other, that’s enough.”

As if realizing something, Xiao Wanqing’s smile turned bitter, and she softly cautioned, “Xianxian, having responsibilities is right, but always remember, you’re also a girl. Take better care of yourself.”

Being with someone who knows how to cherish you…

She hoped that in the future, no matter who Lin Xian was with, she would remember to love herself while loving others.

Lin Xian couldn’t resist Xiao Wanqing’s insistence and supported her as they descended the stairs. They took a taxi back to the Northern District together.

On the way, Lin Xian finally couldn’t contain her anxiety and timidly asked Xiao Wanqing what she had discussed with her mother. Xiao Wanqing just smiled and comforted her, saying, “Your mother promised me to give you time to grow up. The specifics, I’ll tell you when we get home.”

Carefully observing Xiao Wanqing’s expression, Lin Xian felt reassured that she wasn’t faking it. She let out a long sigh of relief and, for the first time in a while, genuinely smiled.

Once they returned home, Lin Xian’s first action was to crouch down and take off Xiao Wanqing’s shoe. Upon seeing the small, dense wounds on Xiao Wanqing’s sole and the long stitches, her expression changed instantly.

Silently standing up, she picked up Xiao Wanqing and headed towards the living room. Though her movements exuded maturity and a sense of safety, she walked while childishly and vulnerably crying. Large tears continuously fell onto Xiao Wanqing’s neck, wetting her heart.

“Xianxian has turned into a crybaby, huh,” Xiao Wanqing teased her in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Lin Xian sat in front of Xiao Wanqing, allowing her feet to rest on her knees. She lowered her head, gently applying medication to Xiao Wanqing’s wound. Pouting at the comment, she sniffed softly and said in a hoarse voice, “I didn’t used to cry. If you take care of yourself, I won’t cry anymore.”

She wasn’t lying; before meeting Xiao Wanqing, she could count the tears she shed on one hand. It was only after meeting Xiao Wanqing that she became someone who cried easily, and almost every time she broke down in tears, it was because of Xiao Wanqing.

Xiao Wanqing’s smile faded slightly as she folded her hands on the sides of the sofa. After a moment of silence, she spoke in a deep voice, “I promise you, I will take care of myself in the future. Xianxian, you also have to promise me.”

Lin Xian lifted her head to look at her.

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“You also need to take care of yourself in the future, eat well, grow up well. No matter what happens, you can’t joke about your own body like you did these past two days. Xianxian, you’ve promised me many times, will you make sure to keep your promise from now on?”

“As long as you supervise me, I can do it,” Lin Xian lowered her eyelids slightly as she wrapped Xiao Wanqing’s wound in gauze, naturally responding in a low voice.

Xiao Wanqing gazed at Lin Xian’s innocent face, seemingly oblivious, and reached out to gently pat her head, her eyes turning slightly red in silence.

During dinner, Xiao Wanqing told Lin Xian that her return was only temporary.

She relayed to Lin Xian the agreed words with Zhou Qin, “I promised your mother and you to temporarily separate, not to see each other for now, to give them and ourselves some time to calm down. In exchange, your mother promised me to let you take the exam, not to pressure you to go abroad or transfer schools.”

Lin Xian abruptly set down her chopsticks and asked Xiao Wanqing stiffly, “Temporary, for how long?”

Xiao Wanqing could see that she seemed unable to accept it, so she suppressed her own pain and guilt, comforting her against her own heart, “It won’t be for long. Once your mother’s health improves a bit, once your exam is over and won’t be affected, we can strive for a better outcome. Xianxian, if we continue to be at odds like this, your mother won’t be able to bear it, and neither will your body. If the situation escalates and your grandparents find out, it will be even harder to control. We have a long future ahead, there’s no need to rush at this moment.”

Lin Xian understood that every word of Xiao Wanqing was reasonable. Taking a step back like this now was already the best result that could be achieved with someone as stubborn as Zhou Qin.

However, as she looked at Xiao Wanqing’s gentle face in front of her as usual, she inexplicably felt anxious. She remained silent, not answering Xiao Wanqing.

In the late night, Xiao Wanqing uncharacteristically took the initiative. Her eyes were filled with shy spring intentions as she looked at Lin Xian, wanting to speak but hesitating. They entwined in a passionate embrace, Xiao Wanqing unleashing a side of herself that she had never shown before. She opened up her body, allowing the girl to freely explore, and after wave upon wave of overwhelming sensations, she continued to demand, with a trembling and hoarse voice, tirelessly, “Xianxian, more…”

If tomorrow never comes, if this beautiful dream never wakes up, if many years later Lin Xian still remembers her…

Amidst the tumultuous emotions and confusion, she clung to the girl’s shoulder, soberly despairing, almost leaving traces of their deep love that would be hard to erase from the girl’s body.

But in the end, in a moment of passion, she restrained herself and bit down on the back of her hand, leaving only a fleeting light kiss on the girl’s shoulder.

The night gradually calmed down.

Tenderly, Lin Xian helped Xiao Wanqing, who was almost drifting off to sleep, tidy up the mess on her body, before taking a shower and returning to bed. Turning her head, she saw Xiao Panpan propping herself up, not yet asleep, gazing softly at her with slightly narrowed eyes, her heart feeling tender and moist.

She brushed aside Xiao Panpan’s sweaty forehead, touched her face, and earnestly discussed with her, “Panpan, let’s end this so-called temporary separation once my mother is discharged from the hospital and her health improves. It’s not easy to transfer schools, but once I go to the administration office to declare that without my consent, I don’t believe they would dare to process the transfer. Some things cannot be figured out in a short time; they need time to prove themselves.”

“Consider me selfish and unfilial, but I don’t want to waste time compromising and indulging in this if my mother doesn’t agree. Understanding and empathy go both ways. When the holidays come, if my mother’s attitude hasn’t softened even a bit, whether she agrees or not, I will come back and be with you. But can we both stop compromising? If not in a year, not in two years, then in five years, ten years, someday they will slowly understand.”

Xiao Wanqing gazed softly at the girl’s resolute and fearless face, feeling a tumult of pain in her heart. She wished she could agree, wished she could be as brave and fearless as her. But she wasn’t a child anymore; she didn’t have the innocence like Lin Xian.

The tree longs for calm, but the wind keeps blowing; the child wants nurturing, but the parents are not there. She feared Lin Xian’s regret, feared Lin Xian’s remorse, feared she would end up like herself —

With a broken home and solitude.

Zhou Qin’s threat of those eight words felt like a curse branded into her life, a nightmare she could never escape. She couldn’t afford to gamble, especially not when it involved Lin Xian.

Drawing closer to the girl’s embrace, she wrapped her arms around her waist, lifted her head, and placed a gentle kiss on Lin Xian’s forehead. Speaking softly as if afraid to disturb a beautiful dream, her voice was as light as an illusion, soothing Lin Xian, “Okay, Xianxian, let’s discuss this again when your break comes. Sleep now, Xianxian, you have exams tomorrow.”

Lin Xian had barely closed her eyes in the past two days. Exhausted, she leaned against Xiao Wanqing’s neck and slowly drifted off to sleep.

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Raising her hand, illuminated by the moonlight, Xiao Wanqing gently traced the serene sleeping face of the girl in the air, her heart torn apart, tears flowing freely.

Lin Xian, she promised me, not to make it difficult for you. Anyone can, except me.

So, in the future, regardless of gender, at the appropriate age, find someone suitable to love.

She silently begged in her heart ten thousand times, Lin Xian, could you, could you please remember me a little…

Yet ultimately, she prayed ten thousand and one times in her heart, Lin Xian, forget about me, don’t remember me at all.

In the early morning, Lin Xian woke up as usual in the gentle voice of Xiao Wanqing, receiving a loving good morning kiss from the woman and sharing a serene and sweet breakfast time. She was worried about Xiao Wanqing’s foot injury, attempting to convince Xiao Wanqing that Zhou Qin had actually arranged for her to have a postponed exam, so she didn’t need to take the test and could simply stay back to take care of her.

However, Xiao Wanqing mentioned that Lin Zhan was already waiting downstairs for her, urging her to be obedient, stay calm, and showing a lack of patience could lead to chaos. This time returning home, apart from the temporary inability to meet, everything else was free, with room for maneuver. She urged Lin Xian to eat well, perform well in the exam, communicate well with her parents, and most importantly, take good care of herself.

Lin Xian, helpless, reluctantly carried her backpack, reluctantly left home, and left Xiao Wanqing, taking three steps back to look behind.

Xiao Wanqing stood at the door with a weary body, like many mornings before, watching Lin Xian walk away with her backpack, taking away the girl’s tall and beautiful figure that carried all her love. In her view, she gradually diminished and disappeared, standing there for a long time…

It turns out that when sadness and despair reach their peak, there are no tears left to shed.

Upon arriving at school, Lin Xian was questioned repeatedly by Chen Zhi and Tang Mo. She briefly explained her situation to her friends before learning that Shi Man had inexplicably lost contact in the past two days and hadn’t even attended today’s exam.

Before the exam, Lin Xian didn’t have time to call Shi Man. After finishing the test, she immediately called Shi Man as soon as she got her phone. As her friend had said, Shi Man’s phone was still switched off, and the same was true for Xia Zhijin’s phone.

Lin Xian, unable to rest her mind, had no choice but to go through several twists and turns to find the parent’s phone number that Shi Man had left on the class contact book, and she called Shi Jinglan.

Shi Jinglan was somewhat surprised to receive her call. Wen Tong had told her that Xiao Wanqing had to leave Anjiang City due to personal reasons, so she couldn’t start her job as scheduled. Did Lin Xian not know about this? How could she still have the heart to care about Manman’s matters?

She truthfully informed Lin Xian that Shi Man and Xia Zhijin had broken up. She got so drunk that she ended up with a stomach perforation and had to be rushed to the emergency room. Xia Zhijin didn’t come back to see her even after that, and she was now like dead ashes in the hospital, not wanting to see anyone.

She gently said, “You don’t need to worry about her. She has figured it out and made her decision. Naturally, she will come back to find you all. You…” Shi Jinglan hesitated for words, ultimately not saying anything more.

Lin Xian hung up the phone, her heart sinking to the bottom of the valley.

In just two days, why did everything change so dramatically?

She walked out of the teaching building, and Lin Zhan was already waiting for her outside.

She silently locked eyes with her father, a nameless unease creeping into her heart, occupying her entire being. She anxiously dialed Xiao Wanqing’s phone number, impatiently praying for the call to connect.

Fortunately, the call connected quickly, and a woman’s gentle voice came through the phone, softly asking her, “Xianxian, have you finished the exam?”

Lin Xian felt relieved but choked up a bit, answering her with a nasal voice, “Yes, I’ve finished.”

“Did it go smoothly?”

“It went pretty well. I shouldn’t be dragging behind.” Despite being just a regular conversation like this, Lin Xian listened and felt like happiness was about to overflow.



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